How Bridgestone Australia created a seamless online and offline customer program

BY Michael Barnard
06 December 2019

Digital has dramatically changed traditional retail experiences, as more and more customers immerse themselves in the digital world via their smart devices.

This proves challenging to retail brands who are now expected to deliver enriched omnichannel customer experiences, with seamless integration across all physical and digital touchpoints.

Bridgestone Australia’s challenge

With this shift in customer behaviour and expectations, leading tyre brand Bridgestone Australia sought to evolve their customer ‘tyre maintenance program’. Historically, communications had been sent via direct mail to customers advising them to get their tyres checked. With over 300 franchise owned stores across Australia, Bridgestone Australia needed to launch a program which would meet the needs of their digitally savvy customers, while creating more customer lifetime value through additional product sales, via in-store visits.

The tyre purchasing cycle can be quite long (typically up to four years). Bridgestone had to strategically consider how to take advantage of digital channels to maintain frequent contact with their customers, whilst ensuring the brand remained front of mind.

Working with Customology, a strategy was developed to create a program which targeted the right customer, at the right time, across the communication channel of their choice, based on each customer’s behaviour.

Launching Bridgestone benefits

Following an assessment of existing customer communications and engagement, point of sale (POS) data was integrated from every store to create a single customer view. With this data, Bridgestone was able to observe customer buying behaviour to determine when they are most likely to repurchase tyres, and also what their communication preferences were.

The reinvented tyre maintenance program was launched as Bridgestone benefits.

Bridgestone benefits specifically engages customers who have purchased new tyres, offering them free tyre checks at each lifecycle milestone - to maximise the life and performance of the tyres - ultimately, keeping their vehicle driving safely.

A customer lifecycle program was implemented leveraging marketing automation technology which is driven by customer behaviours and relevance.  An onboarding communication is sent within 24 hours of the customer making new tyre purchases welcoming them to the program. Regular reminder communications are then sent to the customers preferred channel, including email and SMS. To confirm their free tyre check-up, the customer clicks on a unique URL, which directs to a personalised microsite where they can make a booking and update their details. The online booking form is integrated with the relevant store’s service calendar, enabling customers to select their preferred date and time.

At the 30-month mark, the customer is offered the opportunity to opt-in to additional reminders - ensuring those who aren’t ready to repurchase remain connected with the brand until they are ready.

Bridgestone benefits members also receive other incentives during the lifecycle communications to make them fully aware of the program value. This includes free tyre puncture repair, accidental damage cover and access to exclusive discounted products. This has enabled Bridgestone cross-sell/up-sell opportunities.

The impact of Bridgestone benefits

Customology helped Bridgestone Australia design a personalised digital experience for their customers. Booking a tyre check is not as exciting as booking a hair appointment or a holiday, and is often the type of job which is at the bottom of the to-do list. This program ensures Bridgestone remains front of mind as customers are frequently reminded of the program value and the importance of having a tyre check to keep their vehicle driving safely.

Bridgestone benefits is a national program, enabling franchisees the opportunity to build personal relationships with each member, ensuring the 300+ franchisee owners’ benefit. It allows franchisees to control member bookings, as well as provide ongoing opportunities to up-sell additional services/products when the member is in-store.

The program has achieved substantial growth - it is at the core of Bridgestone’s long-term strategy to grow and retain their customer base. Shopper visits have increased - members come into store 30% more than non-members. Customer basket value has increased - each member spends on average 16% more than a non-member.

For more information, contact Customology at customology.com.au

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Barnard

Michael is the General Manager at Customology, a behavioural economics and customer loyalty agency, specialising in creating customers for life, helping brands understand their customers and develop measurable programs to keep them coming back.

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